Explore the Night Sky at Rensselaer Observatory
Troy, N.Y. — The Hirsch Observatory at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute will be open to the public every clear
Friday evening throughout September and October.
The observatory, which is located atop the Jonsson-Rowland
Science Center, will open at sunset and remain open for
approximately three hours, weather permitting.
Members of the physics department and the Rensselaer
Astrophysical Society will be on hand to talk about the night
sky and answer questions.
Views of Uranus, Neptune, and Mars will be possible on clear
autumn evenings, says graduate student Nicolle Zellner, who
coordinates the project. The Ring Nebula, which is 1,500 light
years away, will also be visible, Zellner says. This planetary
nebula contains the corpse of a star (called a “white dwarf”)
that blew away its atmosphere — a fate that awaits our sun in 5
Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3, public viewing will take
place from 7-9 p.m. The fall brings the Orion and Pleiades
constellations back into view.
Saturday, Nov. 3, solar observing will take place from 12 p.m.
to 3 p.m. Several telescopes will be set up so that people can
safely view the sun. Sunspots and solar prominences will be
The Hirsch Observatory will be closed in rainy weather or if
two-thirds of the sky is obscured by clouds.
For information, call the Rensselaer physics department at
Contact: Bruce Adams
Phone: (518) 276-6531